It’s time to clean up the language…

So, with the new year dawning and spring in the TX air (at least for this week), everything is feeling anew and afresh (except the Christmas decor still up, that is) and I’ve been thinking about some attainable New Year’s resolutions.

Seeing that I don’t really drink too much soda and I already work out, I need to get a little creative.

I DEFINITELY eat way too many french fries and potato chips, so that’s one for sure. I think I’ll refrain from them…at least a little.

But something I definitely need to do is clean up my language, especially since my baby girl is almost 2! Let me back up, just a little…

It was around the year 2004-2005. I had just graduated from grad school and was in my first big girl job. I was hanging out (not dating) this guy who well….did not turn out to be my husband. We were at the movies and already the night was not going well. We were trying to recover from a minor skirmish regarding the movie theatre I’d chosen when in the middle of a story I was telling him, he interrupted me to say this: “so…you haven’t been working on the “like” thing, have you?” I abruptly ended my story, maybe called him an unflattering name to his face and then wondered the entire movie what I saw in this guy.

Years later, when telling stories, I often think to myself the same question….”so, you’re still not working on the “like” thing, huh?” As rude as he was to say that (and hypocritical, I might add), he had a good point. I’m not sure who in the 80’s made it cool to say “like” needlessly and all the time, but they have succeeded in making the most people in their 30’s and younger sound dumber than they are.

I recently heard a piece on NPR (which I’ll never be able to find to republish, sorry) about a language specialist who taught people to rid their speech of unnecessary fillers: um, like, uh, you know. They suggested that every time you hear yourself saying a word that isn’t needed, you stop and reset. For instance if I’m talking along and I say “like,” I should stop and reword the sentence omitting “like.” This takes time and attention, but I know it can be done. How do I know? I’ve done it. I had a really smart professor in college and everytime I talked to him, I tried to choose my words in such a way that he would think I was smart, too (yeah, yeah, I’m a first child pleaser type, sue me).

SO, 2012…here I come. “Like”less, who’s with me?

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3 thoughts on “It’s time to clean up the language…

  1. Janet Schmidt says:

    Anna~~Oh, I “so” “like” your resolution~~ We were all together at my son, Jim’s, house for Christmas several years ago. Julie and her family were there. Her son was born in ’93, Jim’s were born in ’94 and ’95. Jackson Diehl was upset because he thought something that Brant and Zach were doing was something he wanted to do, and I remember him stomping down the hallway saying “Oh, it’s SO unfair”….Then I noticed how many times young people used the word “so”…..I still over-use “um”. Good luck!!

    • Anna B. says:

      Janet…”so” is probably a huge problem with my generation, as well! I usually comb through even my written word in order to remove extra “so’s.”

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